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Start Your Fringe Right

September 2, 2019

A Theatre Buffet on Opening Night

Try a little bit of everything at the Fringe with The Georgia Straight Fringe-For-All! In 2018, Ms. Beatrice Haven from Is That How Clowns Have Sex? A One-Woman Queer Clown Sex Ed Show answered the audience’s burning questions about the birds and the bees. Photo by Julie De Sousa.

And now, for some breaking news: tickets for Opening Night featuring The Georgia Straight Fringe-For-All on September 4 are sold out! If you’re lucky enough to have your tickets, then at 7:00pm this Wednesday, get ready to chat with your fellow Fringers while feasting on some hors d’oeuvres and desserts from Dockside Restaurant, The Keg, and hummus from Habibi’s! Create some customized phone wallets with MAKE while sipping the newest drinks from the award-winning Georgian Bay Spirit Company. If you didn’t get to try their Strawberry Smashed Soda, Smashed Tea, and Cranberry Gin Smash at the Program Guide Launch Party, then you’ll definitely want to make merry with these newest drinks at Opening Night!

At 8:00pm sharp, have a taste of Theatrically Delicious shows during the Fringe-For-All hosted by Abdul Aziz and Davey Calderon as Ate Dean Aiden Vanité Ethan Yo-Yo Kaldereta the First! Sit back, enjoy, and take notes as 40 Fringe Artists convince you why you should see their shows—all in two minutes or less!

And if you didn’t get a ticket but still want a sampling, don’t worry—we’ll be live-tweeting so you won’t miss a thing!

Go to Cuba With the Fringe Raffle

Have a chance to enjoy this relaxing sunset in Havana by buying a Fringe Raffle ticket today!

Need to unwind after 11 days of Fringing? How about a week-long adventure to Cuba courtesy of Finisterra? This trip can be yours for only $10 through the Fringe Raffle! You and a friend can enjoy an amazing trip to the captivating city of Havana for four days, where you can take in the city’s rich history, vibrant culture, and unique architecture. Then, you’ll be taken to the beach for a few days, where you can soak up the sun and enjoy a few days frolicking in the water! 

But if you don’t win the Grand Prize in the Raffle, Finisterra can design a custom trip that’s just for you, whatever your travel style is! Want to indulge and learn about local cuisine while you’re on tour? They’ve got a one-of-a-kind culinary experience. Need a trip that would be fun for both the toddlers and teenagers in your family? They’ll make it happen. Not only are they passionate about creating tours that are flavoured to your taste, but they are also conscientious about travelling sustainably and responsibly for the long-term benefit of local people by supporting small, local businesses for your travels.  

To get a chance at this wonderful Cuban trip crafted by Finisterra, stop by the Raffle Tent, the Phillips Fringe Bar, or find one of our wonderful Raffle Ticket Sellers around the Festival! Tickets are $10 each or $20 for three tickets. The Raffle Draw will be held on September 15 at 10:00pm during Awards Night at Performance Works on 1218 Cartwright Street. You don’t have to be present—the Fringe will be in touch if your name is drawn! 

Check out the Fringe Raffle’s rules and regulations here.

The Fringe Box Office Opens Tomorrow!

Get your tickets from the lovely staff at the Fringe Box Office and they’ll give you the latest scoop on the Festival’s hottest shows! Photo by Al Ricard.

If you’ve been waiting to buy tickets from an actual person, then we’ve got great news for you: the Fringe Box Office opens tomorrow, September 3! Whether you want to buy tickets, pick up your Frequent Fringer Cards and Memberships, or just want to get the scoop from Box Office Associates, the Fringe Box Office has got you covered. You can find them at 1398 Cartwright Street aka the “Fish Bowl” from 4-9:00pm on weekdays, and from noon-9:00pm on weekends till the end of the Festival on September 15.

Rushing to a venue and can’t swing by the Fringe Box Office? Don’t worry because you can also buy tickets from our lovely Fringe volunteers, who are now able to accept cash AND credit cards at the venues!

If you’re looking to save some money, make sure to check out half-price performances! These are labelled in the Program Guide with the ½ symbol next to the half-price performance (also have a look at the article on “Updates” below for half-price performances that have been added since the Guide was printed.

Please note that there will be no refunds or exchanges once a ticket has been purchased.

For more information about our tickets or passes, visit the Fringe website!

Show Updates

Attention, Fringers! Make sure to pay attention to these changes happening during the Festival.

One thing that’s been constant throughout the Fringe’s 35 years is its unpredictability. From what shows apply to the lottery, to what shows get drawn, and which shows actually perform in the Festival—Fringers can always expect the unexpected!

Unfortunately, this means that some shows have also had to withdraw from the Festival since the Program Guide was printed: Babel-o-drome, The Present Imperfect, and One Man Avengers.

There are a few other updates to be aware of. There is an additional performance of Try to Remember at PAL Studio Theatre on September 15 at 6:15pm. Select performances for the following shows are also cancelled: The Immaculate Big Bang at False Creek Gym on September 5 at 6:45pm; Dion Arnold: How I Killed My Nan at Dockside Lounge on September 11 at 8:00pm; and The Woman Who Borrowed Memories at PAL Studio Theatre on September 15 at 6:15pm.

Other changes in the Festival you need to know about are that all Advance Theatre shows are Low Vision Friendly. Old-ish‘s ASL-interpreted performance will be on Friday, September 13 at 7:45pm at Havana Theatre, and Monica vs. The Internet: Tales of a Social Justice Warrior will have an ASL-interpreted performance on Sunday, September 15, at 3:15pm. Also, VocalEye’s live described performance of Perv Hunters will be on Sunday, September 15, at 1:10pm at Waterfront Theatre.

And if you’re looking to save some cash, be sure to take note that the following shows now have half-priced performances! LIGHTS! CAMERA! ODD JOBS? on September 5 at 6:15pm and on September 12 at 10:15pm; Thumbtacks on September 5 at 8:00pm; AI Love You at September 6 at 5:00pm; Legend of the Frozen Trees on September 6 at 6:45pm; Pieces of Eight on September 6 at 10:05pm; Conduit on September 7 at 1:10pm; and Lift on September 8 at 2:15pm.

Remember to check out the daily Fresh Sheet on our website and around the Festival for additional updates!

Mentoring Artists at the Fringe

In addition to giving Artists a platform to perform at the Festival every year, the Fringe provides mentorship opportunities so Artists can sharpen their skills. Through Advance Theatre: New Works by Diverse Women and the Dramatic Works Series, Artists can learn by doing—and you can see their great works in action!

Check out Advance Theatre: New Works by Diverse Women at False Creek Gym! This series features dramatic readings of five new plays from female-identifying playwrights from September 9-13.

In partnership with Ruby Slippers Theatre and Playwrights Guild of Canada, Advance Theatre: New Works by Diverse Women features dramatic readings of five new plays by female-identifying playwrights. Presented as 1:30pm matinees from September 9-13 at the False Creek Gym, this year’s plays touch on connections across borders, languages, generations, and death: ūtszan by Yvonne Wallace, which unravels the protagonist’s lifelong path to learn and think in her Ancestral first language, Ucwalmicwts; Sis Ne’ Bi-Yiz: Mother Bear Speaks by Taninli Wright, inspired by the Wet’suwet’en playwright’s true story of finding her own voice as she grapples with racist systems and intergenerational traumas; Occupational Hazards by Roneen Marcoux, where cocktail waitresses at different points in their jobs navigate the drink-pushing business; we the same by Sangeeta Wylie, which is based on a true story about Vietnamese oceanic refugees; and Fling by Melody Anderson, where two sisters, Lynnie and Barb try to get truths from their father, who suffers from dementia. Tickets are pay-what-you-can, with a suggested price of $5 to $10, and are cash only at the door. Check out the full schedule here.

Make sure to grab your tickets to the shows featured in the Dramatic Works Series, which will be playing at the Vancity Culture Lab at The Cultch!

Showing at The Cultch’s Vancity Culture Lab, the Dramatic Works Series seeks to boost dramatic content at the Fringe by staging the works of published playwrights. Generously supported by the Lochmaddy Foundation, the Dramatic Works Series is an opportunity for Fringe Artists to be mentored by an experienced theatre artist. Under the mentorship of Métis theatre artist Raes Calvert (Hardline Productions, Redpatch), this year’s lineup includes six productions that are sure to excite audiences: a stage production of Jacob Richmond’s Legoland, which is about two siblings whose lives change after the hippie colony they were raised in gets busted for being the largest marijuana grow-op in Saskatchewan; the premiere of Two Modern Noh Plays by Yukio Mishima, in which the controversial Japanese playwright challenged traditional Noh Theatre conventions; a unique audience experience in 4.48 Psychosis where playwright Sarah Kane’s poetic account of clinical depression is revealed; a haunting and empowering exploration of perceptions of body image in The Most Massive Woman Wins; a sharply written story of two guards on duty at the Taj Mahal in Guards at the Taj; and creating a definitive work for an extraordinary setting in the Tony Award-winning play, Red. For the full schedule of the Dramatic Works Series, click here.

Rohit Recommends…

Undecided what shows to watch during the Festival? Why not see what Fringe veteran Rohit Chokhani has to recommend?

With 101 shows to choose from, choosing which Fringe shows to watch over 11 days of the Festival can seem like a daunting task. But who can give recommendations better than Rohit Chokhani? This Jessie Award-winning director launched his theatre career at the Fringe, where he continues to experiment with new ideas, concepts, and projects. Bombay Black by Anosh Irani, which he produced and directed as part of the Dramatic Works Series in 2017, will be remounted this fall with an all-new cast and upgraded production design! Presented in partnership with Theatre Wire, make sure to mark your calendars from November 1-3 and come see it at the York Theatre.

As the Festival draws closer, we asked this Fringe veteran to tell us his Top 10 Must-See Shows! After flipping through the Program Guide, he listed shows that stood out for him immediately. Visit Rohit’s website to see his Top 10 Picks for the Fringe!

Meet the TD Fringe Forward Award Contenders!

The Fringe is proud to present the TD Fringe Forward Award in partnership with Neworld Theatre and generously supported by TD Bank Group!

As part of furthering the vision of “Theatre for Everyone” and supporting and making space for more diverse voices in the Festival, the Fringe is very proud to present the TD Fringe Forward Award in partnership with Neworld Theatre! Generously supported by TD Bank Group, this new award honours a production that centres the work of Artists from historically marginalized communities and approaches the work from a place of authenticity. For its first year, 16 shows are vying for the Award, which includes a performance opportunity, rehearsal space, mentorship, and cash for future development.

The contenders include My Name is SUMIKO, June Fukumura’s clown show that blends Japanese stereotypes and serves up a zany, East-meets-West comedy about life, death, and love; Two Modern Noh Plays by Yukio Mishima by Midtwenties Theatre Society, which stages two controversial works from the infamous Japanese playwright; Monica vs. The Internet: Tales of a Social Justice Warrior by Monica Ogden, a solo show that sheds light on activism in the age of the internet, mixed-race identity, white feminism, and other social justice-related issues; and Borderline A**hole by Julie Gieseke, a solo show that navigates mental health labels and their stigma from an LGBTQ+ perspective.

Additionally, there’s R’n’J: The Untold Story of Shakespeare’s Roz and Jules by Stolen Cactus, a tragicomedy adventure that explores an alternate ending for Romeo and Juliet; Josephine by Lil Theatre Company, a one-woman biographical musical about Josephine Baker, the first African-American international superstar; and tadpole: the last episode by THEATRECORPS, which navigates mental illness in the context of realities; and The Moaning Yoni by Joylyn Secunda, a solo show where she takes on 17 characters through songs, dances, and stunts to talk about her asexuality.

There’s also Those Who Can’t by Jill Lockley, a comedy that follows the story of Principal Penny, who’s desperate to find a substitute teacher for a group of sixth-grade students who are determined to hurt every teacher who steps through the door; Mx by Lili Robinson, which cracks open notions of mixed-race, Black, and Queer identity through the lens of a character stuck in-between by incorporating elements of clown, bouffon, and mythology from the African Diaspora; Dissection of a … Mixed Heritage Woman by Nyla Carpentier, where she unravels and weaves together family and personal stories, poetry, dance, and a bit of song to explore where her mixed heritage is pulling her; and Pretty Beast by Kazu Kusano, a solo comedy show that talks about growing up in a dysfunctional family and using humour as a survival tool in a sexist Japanese society.

Rounding out the list of contenders for the TD Fringe Forward Award are Rape is Real & Everywhere by Emma Cooper and Friends, a stand-up comedy show performed by rape survivors; Guards at the Taj by South Asian Canadian Histories Association (SACHA), which is about two Imperial Guards standing on duty at the famed Taj Mahal in 1648; Red Glimmer by Dusty Foot Productions, an absurd sci-fi dramedy about a woman who involuntarily takes an all-inclusive internal trip after a deep depression; and Where the Quiet Queers Are, which uses choral music, a cappella soundscape, and spoken poetry to explore how queer people find family in a transient city.

Get your tickets to these shows today on the Fringe website, and find out who wins the first-ever TD Fringe Forward Award at Awards Night on September 15!


Sample the Fringe on Opening Night

August 22, 2019

Opening Night featuring The Georgia Straight Fringe-For-All

Description: Two people in vulva costumes on stages. The one facing more towards the camera holds up two fingers close to their mouth. Caption: Get a taste of this year's Fringe shows at The Georgia Straight Fringe-For-All! In last year's event, audiences saw dancing vulvas courtesy of Lip Service. Photo by Julie De Sousa.

Get a taste of this year’s Fringe shows at The Georgia Straight Fringe-For-All! In last year’s event, audiences saw dancing vulvas courtesy of Lip Service. Photo by Julie De Sousa.

Want to start your Fringe right? You’re invited to our Opening Night featuring The Georgia Straight Fringe-For-All, happening September 4 at Performance Works!

Kick off your evening by mingling with fellow Fringe fans starting at 7:00pm while snacking on hors d’oeuvres and desserts generously provided by The Keg and Dockside Restaurant. Meet friends, make plans to taste as many Fringe flavours as possible in 11 days, and sip on new, refreshing drinks from Georgian Bay Spirit Company! But that’s not all: you can join Habibi’s for a hummus tasting, and create a customized phone wallet with MAKE!

Then, starting at 8:00pm, get ready to pencil in your Festival schedule with the best source of Fringe: The Georgia Straight Fringe-For-All, hosted by Fringe alumni Abdul Aziz (Fake Ghost Tours, and he’s returning to the Fringe with the sequel Fake Ghost Tours 2: Journey to the Other Side [of Granville Island]) and Davey Calderon (Big Queer Filipino Karaoke Night)! Enjoy bite-sized, live theatre trailers from 40 Fringe Artists and companies as they convince you to scoop up a ticket to their show.

Are you a Fringe LoverThen you’re invited to an exclusive Donor Event starting at 6:00pm! And if you aren’t a donor yet but would like to become one, make sure to donate a minimum of $25 by September 1 to get your invite! Learn more about becoming a Fringe Lover here 

Tickets are available for $25 online or at the door (if it doesn’t sell out first!). Get your tickets now and enjoy this sneak peek of a Theatrically Delicious Fringe! And if you can’t make it, don’t worry—we’ll be live-tweeting from the heart of action!

Try Different Music at the Phillips Fringe Bar

Description: A collage of three photos of musicians performing at the Fringe Bar. Top left: a black and white photo of Buckman Coe, looking at the camera. Right: DJ Shanique, facing to the left, wearing headphones. Bottom left: Rae Spoon looking to the left, their hands clasped at the front. Caption: Move to the beat with some of Vancouver's best musicians at the Phillips Fringe Bar! Clockwise from top left: Buckamn Coe, DJ Shanique, and Rae Spoon.

Move to the beat with some of Vancouver’s best musicians at the Phillips Fringe Bar! Clockwise from top left: Buckamn Coe, DJ Shanique, and Rae Spoon.

Fringers know that the Phillips Fringe Bar is THE place to be during the Festival. Located at Ocean Art Works, it’s the perfect place to get a taste of some of Vancouver’s best music acts, chat with Fringe Artists, meet old friends, and make new ones! Refreshing drinks from Phillips, Road 13 Vineyards, Wards Cider, and Georgian Bay Spirit Co. will also be available to sip on while you enjoy everything the Phillips Fringe Bar has to offer. Here’s a preview of what you can expect for 11 days of great music and company:

Veteran performer Buckman Coe will kick off the party at the Phillips Fringe Bar on Thursday, September 5. His latest release is his sixth full-length album, Gathering Storm, which Roots Music describes as “a dance between the revolutionary and romantic, with an emphasis on the soul delivery of messages of freedom and harmony.”

On September 12, the award-winning non-binary musician and author Rae Spoon will be rocking the Fringe Bar stage with music that spans folk, indie rock, and electronic genres! Referred to by NOW Magazine as “one of the most important musicians working in Canada today.” They recently released their 10th full-length album, Mental Health!

And look forward to ending the Fringe with radiant beats from DJ Shanique on Sunday, September 15! Also known as Softieshan, she is helping shape the DJing landscape as the Vancouver coordinator of Intersessions, an initiative that helps address inequality in the city’s music and nightlife industries by mentoring female and femme-identified DJs!

If you need even more reasons to hang out at the Phillips Fringe Bar, you can check out the full lineup here. The Fringe Bar is open from 6:00pm till late from Monday to Friday, and from 1:00pm till late on Saturdays and Sundays. All ages are welcome, but people must be 19 or older to purchase alcohol at the Fringe Bar.

A Romantic Weekend Getaway for $10?

Description: A man sits behind a table with Fringe Raffle materials sprawled across it. He looks at the camera, smiling, thumbs up and pointing to the person across him. The person on the other side is leaning forward to fill out their information for the Fringe Raffle. You can win amazing prizes, including a vineyard weekend getaway to Kelowna, through the Fringe Raffle! Photo by Adrian Ruigrok.

You can win amazing prizes, including a vineyard weekend getaway to Kelowna, through the Fringe Raffle! Photo by Adrian Ruigrok.

Thanks to the Fringe, not only can you see as much theatre as you want in 11 days, but you can also bag great prizes through the Fringe Raffle for the low, low price of $10! You can read more about the Raffle Prizes here, but for now, we’re putting the spotlight at one of our prizes—a weekend getaway to Kelowna sponsored by The View Winery Vineyard!

Sometimes, all it takes for Fringers to recharge after a very hectic Festival is a quick weekend trip out of the city, doing something where all you have to do is show up, relax, and be ready to have fun. And this is exactly what The View Winery Vineyard is offering! Through their Vineyard Experience, guests can develop a deeper appreciation of their wines and ciders thanks to a guided, educational tour of their orchard and vineyard. This 30-minute hike ends with a sparkling tasting at the top of the property with a fantastic view of Kelowna and Okanagan Lake. On top of this, the Raffle Prize winner gets treated to a picnic featuring an assortment of artisan cheeses, baguettes, and light charcuterie to complement their tasting. Then, the tour is capped off with a flight of five wines or ciders waiting for them in their tasting room, making it the perfect time to try out some of Wards Cider’s newest offerings: the Mimosa and Ginger Apple Cider!

For just $10, give yourself a chance at this relaxing trip (or get three chances for $20)! Raffle tickets are available at the Raffle Tent (by the Fringe Box Office), the Phillips Fringe Bar, and around the Festival. Winners will be drawn at Fringe Awards Night, Sunday, September 15 (doors at 9:30pm) at Performance Works (you do not have to be present—we’ll be in touch if you win!). Good luck!

Hone Your Craft at the Fringe

Description: Three people are on the floor, looking to the left. Two of them are partly crouched down, while another person has their head on the floor. There is a fourth person behind them, as if moving towards them. Caption: The Fringe is offering all sorts of workshops to sharpen your skills! Check out this photo from 2018 with New(to)Town Collective's Training Jam. Photo by Rosemarie Gresham.

The Fringe is offering all sorts of workshops to sharpen your skills! Check out this photo from 2018 with New(to)Town Collective’s Training Jam. Photo by Rosemarie Gresham.

The Fringe is proud to cultivate a platform where Artists—whether they’re emerging or established—can perform their works in an unjuried and uncensored environment. On top of that, the Festival also provides Artists an opportunity to share their skills and mentor other Artists and aspiring Artists. Get ready to learn from the workshops offered by Fringe Artists this year!

Theatre Terrific’s Artistic Director, Susanna Uchatius (Workin’), will kick off the week of learning at the Fringe on Tuesday, September 10 with a session on Radical Collaborative Inclusive Theatre. This workshop will focus on how to “be with,” play, work, and create theatre with all people, regardless of perceived assumptions of difference. Participants will be able to sharpen their skills of silence, listening, physical, vocal, and intuitive collaboration.

On Wednesday, September 11, Nyla Carpentier from the show Dissection of a Indian Aboriginal First Nation Indigenous Native Full-Blood Status Non-Status Halfbreed Métis Rez Urban Mixed Heritage Woman will be hosting an interactive Powwow 101 workshop where you can learn the Indigenous history behind the dance steps, the various dance styles, and what protocols to expect when attending a Powwow. This workshop is open to Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants—just remember to bring a bottle of water and clothes you can sweat in!

Register today for a lunch circle-chat hosted by the Vancouver Fringe’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Director Siobhan Barker called Are We There Yet? Next Steps in Arts; Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion on Thursday, September 12. She will be joined by Davey Calderon, Jillian Christmas, Marion Landers, Renae Morriseau, and Tom Pickett. Make sure to register by September 7 as lunch will be included!

Does watching storytelling shows at the Fringe inspire you to start creating your own? Join acclaimed comedian-storyteller Jon Bennett (Pretending Things are a Cock) in the How to Tell a Story workshop on Friday, September 13! He’ll facilitate an open, supportive environment where participants can share stories, unpack the storytelling process, and learn what an entertaining story is all about!

Read more about the workshops on our website and sign up today! Registration on a sliding scale basis is also available at the door and it’s cash only. And RSVP by September 3 if you would like to arrange for ASL interpretation for any of the workshops.

Reminder: Volunteers Still Needed!

Description: Two people wearing the pink Fringe volunteer t-shirts smile at the camera. The person on the right has drawn a mustache on their face. Caption: Join the Fringe Family (and wear a mustache on September 12 to celebrate Mustache Madness) by signing up to be a volunteer today! Photo by Jenna Owen.

Join the Fringe Family (and wear a mustache on September 12 to celebrate Mustache Madness) by signing up to be a volunteer today! Photo by Jenna Owen.

With only a couple weeks to go before the Festival starts, the Fringe is still looking for people to help make 11 days of Theatre for Everyone run smoothly! Enjoy tinkering with tools? Sign up to help with production and site crew! Love meeting people from all walks of life? Then you might just be the perfect ticket seller. Want to try your hand at everything? You can by being a rescue ranger! With the variety of volunteer positions available at the Fringe, there’s sure to be a role that fits you! Fringe Volunteers get snacks to the Volunteer Centre, an exclusive invite to our Volunteer Appreciation Party, and of course, a Rush Pass that allows them to see any Fringe show that’s not sold out! You can start by creating an account on MyVolunteerPage.com, or update your existing account if you’re a returning volunteer! Thanks for your help in making this year’s Festival gr-r-reat!